Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
The Episcopal Church »  |  The Diocese of Virginia

Vestry Vibes


Parish Life Liaison - Richard Sellers

 Parish Life and its wilder component "Wildlife" is the term used for all fellowship activities in which the parish engages.  There's a long list, most of which you may have seen, and some you may not have thought of.  Most prominent of these are our receptions for funerals, bishops' visits and other celebrations.  The activity you see most often is Fellowship Hour hosted by 13 host and hostess families that provide snacks and coffee/tea following the later service on Sunday.  I leave it to them to bring what fares they wish to bring, and each is different with a host of wonderful offerings.  Most of these are provided free, as my budget for all of Parish Life, including the summer picnic is about $500 annually, and that is supposed to cover cups, sugar, creamers, tea, coffee, paper towels, etc. Please thank these selfless ministers as they make fellowship work after worship.  Also, this ministry is responsible for the two kitchens-keeping clean, supplying them and making sure the equipment is operating along with the buildings liaison.  We are most grateful for the volunteers and volunteer offerings for each of the functions/events.  As attending receptions is a part of my work role, I learn from them and bring the best back to St. C's receptions.  We have a receptions committee known as St. Spatula's Guild that sets-ups, helps run and cleans-up each reception, and I'm grateful for those 10 souls.  Finally, a little-known ministry is The Christophers that provides home meals when needed after surgeries, births, deaths or other life events when meal assistance is needed.  Looking forward this year, I hope to host an ice cream social, with the Membership Liaison host a new members' dinner and either a square dance or country line dance event in the fall. Watch this space for more information.  If you wish to join any of these fulfilling ministries, please contact me and many thanks to the parish at large and my wife for your comments and support! 

Worship Liaison - Sarah Belisle

The commission for worship encompasses many committees here at St. Christopher's. These committees include the Altar Guild, the Flower Guild, Lay Eucharistic Ministers, Intercessors, Communion Bread Bakers, Acolytes, Greeters, Ushers, Lectors, the Banner Committee, Pastoral Assistance Team, Chapel Prayer Team, and Music Ministry.
My role as Worship Liaison is to periodically bring the chairs for all these committees, along with Fr. Peter, together for meetings to plan for the liturgical year. I also oversee the budget for worship. The Flower Guild is funded independently, but the rest of the committees' budgets fall under worship. Most of this small budget ($3100 for this year) is spent on a quarterly tuning of the organ, which runs more than $500 each time. The rest goes toward keeping the piano tuned, sheet music, and supplies for the Altar Guild and Chapel Prayer Team.
Some of the highlights of our worship year include the special services at Christmas and Easter, with gorgeous floral arrangements and beautiful music. Other highlights also include the Agape Meal on Maundy Thursday and our Youth Sunday, which this year saw the joyful participation of children of all ages.
If you feel called to serve on any of these committees, please contact me (703) 992-8162. You may also find printed information about these committees on the table just inside the church door.

Stewardship Liaison - Chris Erbe

Stewardship is about growing the church and our members. We do this by encouraging parishioners to "invest" their time, talent and treasure in St. Christopher's through a monetary pledge and through a contribution of their skills and talents toward the church's activities. In other words, we encourage parishioners to get involved in this place! Active involvement of many parishioners ensures the church will survive, thrive and continue to meet the spiritual needs of its members and do good works in the community. It's good for parishioners because they become part of a caring and supportive spiritual community.
As the stewardship liaison, I am part of the stewardship committee, which is composed of 5-10 members who, with Father Peter's guidance, initiate the annual giving campaign, ministries fair and other stewardship-related events. If you are interested in joining the Stewardship Committee, contact me or the committee chair, Helen Spence. We're always looking for ideas that will help encourage our parishioners to grow in God's community by investing their time, talent and treasure in St. Christopher's.

Outreach Liaison - Angela Bourke

The Vestry Liaison for Outreach serves as the link between St. Christopher's active Outreach Committee, the Rector and the Vestry.   The Outreach liaison coordinates with the rector and Vestry to determine ways in which they can support and engage in various outreach programs. The liaison also helps ensure that various Outreach programs are familiar to our parish community and seeks volunteers to serve in them. St. Christopher's has a strong outreach tradition, examples of which include the Hypothermia Prevention Program, Collection and Preparation of Food Packets for School Weekend Backpacks Program, School Physicals and School Supply Drive and the Outreach Garden, which has delivered several hundred pounds of fresh produce to ECHO for its clients. A number of other current outreach programs began with parishioners coming forward to share their passions with the committee and congregation, and you are encouraged to do the same. Please feel free to contact me at asbourke@gmail.com or (703) 639-0817 with any questions, concerns or suggestions.  

Junior Warden - Bill Price

The office of Junior Warden is one of three elected by the vestry members at their retreat following the vestry election by the congregation during the Annual Meeting.  The other elected positions are Senior Warden and Register.  The Junior Warden's primary duties are to assist the Senior Warden and to fill in during her absence, to be available to the Rector for communication with parishioners, to research issues, and together with the Senior Warden, provide a sounding board for confidential parish issues the Rector may be handling.  It is very important that the Senior and Junior Wardens work closely together.

As Junior Warden, I provide support to the Senior Warden and the Rector and assist other Vestry members with their ministries.  I also handle matters that apply to the parish in general or don't fit neatly under any commission.  I serve on the Memorial Committee, and am responsible for coordination and oversight of groups requesting and using Saint Christopher's facilities for regular meetings and functions, such as the Boy Scouts, the music lessons held in the Auditorium, support groups, etc. Our procedures for the use of our facilities are well documented so that each request is processed in a consistent and standard manner.  Like the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden can also approve expenditures and sign purchase orders, and if the Treasurer is not available, sign checks as well.

For the past two years, I have also served on a committee tasked with engaging with parishioners and inviting them to serve on the Vestry.  In my conversations with many of you, it was clear that we need to provide more information about the duties and commitments expected of each Vestry member. While I know we are only a few months into this Vestry year, which began in February, it is never too early to begin next year's candidate search process.  The Vestry consists of twelve members and the Rector.  The Treasurer also attends all Vestry meetings.  We usually meet once a month, unless special sessions are warranted.   Commissions meet separately with their committees and report to the Vestry.  A Vestry member's term is three years so each year, four new Vestry members are elected.

I would love to hear your comments, suggestions, opinions, complaints, or compliments.  Please contact me, the Senior Warden, any of the Vestry members or the Rector.  As valued and vital members of our Saint Christopher's family, your input is encouraged and necessary.  You can reach me at 703-569-2825 or via email me at billp49@verizon.net.

Senior Warden - Janet Bush
The office of Senior Warden is one of the three offices elected by the vestry members at their retreat following the vestry election by the congregation.  The others are Junior Warden and Register.  As Senior Warden, I am not "in charge" of anything, but can oversee, assist other members with their ministries, and handle matters that apply to the parish in general or don't fit neatly under any commission.  The Senior Warden's main duty is to be available to the rector for whatever he needs in terms of talking to people, researching issues, and together with the Junior Warden, providing a sounding board for confidential issues he may be dealing with in the parish. 
The Senior Warden (as well as the Junior Warden) can also approve expenditures and sign purchase orders, and if the treasurer is not available, sign checks as well.  As a side note, none of the vestry members approve their own expenditures, but require one of the wardens to sign off if they are being reimbursed personally.
I am always eager to hear what's going on with each of you in the congregation, and if you have comments, opinions, complaints, or are happy with the way things are going, I'd like to hear from you as well.  You can reach me at any time at 703-371-2465 or email me at jebush27@gmail.com

February, 2017

Last Saturday, February 4, during the annual offsite retreat, our Vestry, Pastor, and Seminarian, strengthened our bonds of friendship and service, and elected liaisons to the various commissions. In cementing the Church's vision and mission, we shared the same conviction: that Vestry members are the conduits of information and knowledge, and the facilitators and coordinators of service.

We prayed, shared food, personal tidbits, stories, and varied passions for service. We reacquainted ourselves with the responsibilities required of us by virtue of your electing us your representatives. We revisited the description and duties of commissions with which you entrust the Rector and the Vestry. We reiterated our conviction that the work of our Church is successful because of the participation of all at Saint Christopher's, not only the Vestry. By midmorning, we were comfortable with our knowledge and ready to share it with you, especially when you request, seek, question and offer to combine your light with ours to illuminate our community and the world. 

So, I invite you to seek further information on how your light can shine. Talk to the Senior and Junior Wardens, Janet Bush and Bill Price about your vision for the church and the best way for you to serve. Talk to the two Jims: Jim Bradshaw and Jim Armstrong to help keep our Grounds and Buildings worthy of our worship and service. Katy Dunlap and Christina Manning are your Liaisons for Christian Formation; share your ideas with them about children and adult education in our church and offer your services to realize these ideas. Sarah Belisle, as Liaison for Worship, will happily talk to you about joining the Worship committee, which meets at least quarterly to advance the quality of our worship. New Member Incorporation Liaison, Danny Gorham, will work with you to develop activities and programs to welcome and incorporate new members as our church grows. Implement with Liaison Angela Bourke one of the many Outreach efforts for which our Church is famous, or plan new ones. Chris Erbe will work with you and the Stewardship Committee to inform us all of all the efforts in engaging our three T's. Liaise with Richard Sellers to participate in the Sunday Fellowship hours and the many other ways that keep our Parish Life celebratory and useful in our community. 

Talk to me, May Kamalick, email-mkamalick@cox.net or phone 202-213-7187. As the Register and Communications facilitator, I will make sure the right person answers your question and that your passion for service is best utilized. 

And always feel free to talk to Fr. Peter Ackerman. Despite his busy schedule, his true passion is you! 

By the end of the retreat, we had learned a lot: about each other, our passions, strengths and weaknesses, and mostly that we are a cohesive body: Congregation, Vestry, and Pastor. We work best in harmony.

Subscribe to the Bulletin Blast
« previous
From the Rector's Desk
next »